His knees were shaking. The endless wave of people... watching all the women waving to him from inside the car, he could utter but one word. "Wow..." After that,he was speechless. President Sohn of IMX who was sitting next to him looks back and claims "You rarely see BYJ wearing such an expression revealing his nervousness." How could he have expected a crowd of 5000 people waiting for him? The frenzy of excitement was something he had not even experienced in his own country, and he was absolutely overwhelmed.
- as witnessed by a reporter of Nikkan Sports, April 2004
source: BAE YONG JOON 04-05 (Nikkan Sports)
I was able to win an award (Blue Dragon Film Awards 2003, Best New Actor for "Untold Scandal") for a movie for the first time after 10 years since my debut. I would like to promise that I would make an even greater effort in the coming 10 years."
- Answering a question in an interview held during his second official visi t to Japan, "what are your plans for the future?"
Let's see, where should I take him?It would be nice to take him to a folk village where he could understand the history and culture of Korea. I would also like to invite him to a restaurant where he could enjoy the traditional Korean cuisine. How would I explain Korea...? Umm, I think it is a country made of compassionate people. Because of this, the way we express ourselves towards others tend to be very direct. But I think the countries of Asia all live in the frame of what we can call "family". I think we have many things in common.
- In answer to a question, "where would you take a friend who has visited Korea for the first time". (Exclusive interview of Nikkan Sports 050902)
I forget everything that has passed (laughs). We are always living our lives making choices , isn't that so? Every moment in each day is made up of choices. For instance, thinking about what to eat is a choice too (laughs) . But there are a lot of choices that may seem very important at the time, but later make one feel on hindsight that it wasn' such a big deal. I think time is something that makes us forget what has happened. If we remembered everything, I don't think we human beings can go on living.
- In an exclusive interview for AERA 080707 edition
Excerpt from an article from The Asahi Shimbun 090917 edition
(Kang Sang Jung,one of the most influential ethnically Korean residents of Japan is a political science professor at the University of Tokyo and a social commentator. His recently published book includes an interview with the late ex-president Kim Dae Jung.)
2005. When Kan-san went to Haneda airport to welcome the ex-president who was invited to Japan to give a lecture at the University of Tokyo, the airport lobby was overflowing with Japanese women. Kim-ssi waved in response at the crowd, but he had made a mistake. These women were fans of Hanryu star Bae Yong Joon who was to arrive on the same day.
According to Kan-san, Kim-ssi looked back on this incident most fondly. "If it weren't for the steps the ex-president took to open up his country to Japanese popular culture the hanryu boom never would have happened". Kim-ssi confessed there was strong opposition to his ideas in the administration. "Kim-ssi convinced these people that if their own culture was something that would be easily swallowed up by others, it is not a culture worth maintaining. He was that proud of his ethnic culture."
(all translations by flowerbossa)